WORCESTER, Mass. - Excitement is building around Kelley Square as more businesses and venues announce they plan to also lift restrictions on Saturday following the state's lead.
"I, along with all of you, are very excited about Saturday," said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito at a press conference on Wednesday at Worcester Regional Airport.
Polito echoed how most residents and business owners are feeling, excited over a return to normal on May 29 when most COVID-19 restrictions are lifted across the state.
"It is like a gift from heaven," said Allen Fletcher, owner of the Worcester Public Market. "Turns out, it's a gift from (Gov.) Charlie Baker, but we are grateful."
Fletcher said Saturday is the day small businesses have been waiting for.
"The mask mandate, you know, it wears over time," Fletcher said.
The Worcester Public Market lost customers over the last year and a half, but Saturday marks a new beginning. Vaccinated customers and staff will no longer need to wear masks.
"It is tough wearing that thing all day long and tough cooking with it, so it's just going to be great," Fletcher said, adding the market has enough space to accommodate customers, who may not be comfortable close to others yet.
"The good news for us is we are a big space and it feels safe," Fletcher said. "Plus, we have two streets with picnic tables all along them."
Polar Park -- home of the Worcester Red Sox -- is a quick walk from the Market. The stadium expects to make a full return to capacity in July. Starting Saturday, vaccinated fans and stadium staff will no longer need their masks at the stadium.
The WooSox return to Polar Park on June 1 and as more fans are allowed to go to the game, the Worcester Public Market hopes it will also bring more customers through their doors.